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Gathering the Harvest

As I write this, it is still beautifully hot with the sun streaming in. Talking about beautifully hot brings to mind some exciting news from Fine Foods. Our Chilli Oil has won Silver and our Garlic Oil, Gold at the recent Taste of the West Awards. We are delighted with this news as it means that together with our Smoked Oil (Gold 2017), our trio of flavoured oils have all won awards.

Fine Foods have been pretty busy again with Markets and Shows. July brings a flurry of shows, some big and some smaller, more intimate ones. The middle weekend of July took us to Weymouth to the Dorset Seafood Festival, sponsored by ‘Pommery’ Champagne! With a really busy and buzzing festival feel about it and many local customers (including holiday makers) seeking us out to re-stock from last year. If only they remembered they can order on-line so they would never be without! It boasts as being the biggest Seafood Festival in Europe. Consider a trip to Weymouth next July…. with a paddle thrown in to end the day!

By the time you pick up this issue, we will have been to Forde Abbey; a beautiful country house with stunning gardens close to Chard. The first Saturday in August takes us to the Dorset Arts Festival at Poundbury, Dorchester; another great event which we love. We will be at the Gillingham & Shaftesbury Show, Winchester Chilli & Cheese Festival, Mid- Somerset at Shepton Mallet, Melplash Show near Bridport. Also River Cottage near Axminster and Treborough Hill in Devon, over the August Bank Holiday weekend with The Corsley Show finishing off August on Bank Holiday Monday.

And so to Harvest…… for without the harvest we would not have a crop; those little black pearls of oil gently gathered by the combine, loaded into a trailer and brought back for storage. It is incredible to think that we can harvest, store, press, bottle and sell our own rapeseed so efficiently now with our fantastic press. Come and see her in action and hear the story of how she was installed on one of our ‘Field to Plate Tours’. Quite a story ….. it wasn’t all plain sailing!

The barley was ready early; the whiskery heads bowing and dancing in the light breeze, bronzed by the hot sun. I love watching the combine grazing through the field catching the sunny heads and thrashing out the seed. The fields are looking beautifully neat now having been efficiently baled. It’s all planned strategically by Andy & Shaun, as we also contract combine on other farms. It’s hard work hauling the crop back to the yard, returning to the field in time for the combine to empty the next load of seed into the trailer, particularly when harvesting the wheat and barley. These both yield more per acre than the rapeseed.

The wheat will have been harvested by the time this goes to print. The heads are starting to bow too now, showing that they are almost ready….. just a few days away. It is unbelievable that it is very likely the harvest will be in before the end of July. This will be a summer we will be talking about for years to come. But harvest might be the end of one cycle, but then another begins. More about that next month ….

Preparing the Ground and Drilling the Seed!

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Lizzy Etheridge
Production | Sales | Events